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Black Studies

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 4/01/13

    Chokwe Lumumba Makes Bid for Mayor of Jackson

    Human rights lawyer and former Republic of New Afrika official Chokwe Lumumba has his sights set on the top job in Mississippi’s biggest city. “It give us an opportunity to demonstrate that we are great in terms of administration of human rights – something that would Martin Luther King proud,” said Lumumba, who is a city councilman. Jackson, the state capital, is 80 percent Black. Back in 1971, when the Republic of New Afrika came to town, “there was only one Black on the police force, and he could only arrest other Black people,” said Lumumba.

    Rally for Temple University African American Studies

    There has never been an educational institution in America that truly wanted to educate Black people properly,” said Dr. Molefi Asante, speaking to a student rally in support of Temple University’s beleaguered African American Studies program. Asante is credited with establishing Temple’s doctoral program in African American studies, in 1988. Since then, “every successive administration has sought to destroy the program,” he said.

    Blacks Saddled with Obama for Eternity

    President Obama’s “Kill List” and preventive detention legislation “have created conditions for people of color in this country that makes our survival very tenuous, indeed,” said Dhoruba bin Wahad, a former leader in the Black Panther Party and co-founder of the Black Liberation Army who spent 19 years in prison for his political activities. Speaking at a rally for political prisoners. bin Wahad said: “The sad part is, we’re going to be saddled with Obama for the rest of our lives, as the senior, elder statesman of Black politics in America.”

    Double-Barreled Protest Against NAACP

    Demonstrators will gather at the Washington offices and Baltimore headquarters of the NAACP, on April 3 and 4, respectively. Organizer Rev. Edward Pinkney, the former chief of the Benton Harbor, Michigan, NAACP, the civil rights organization has sold out its legacy to corporations. “The people on the top are being paid, and yet they don’t do anything” for the membership or the masses of Black people, said Pinkney.

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    Goodbye Black Studies!

    by Cecil Brown

    Black Studies is in deep trouble, on the internal and external racial fronts. “The test of whether a Black Studies department will survive depends on how many white teachers and students they have.” Meanwhile, the absence of an African American political movement has undermined Black Studies, which has “lost the self-respect and the respect for other blacks.”

    The Stable Debate on Multicultural Education


    by Shannon Joyce Prince

    Multicultural studies is deemed dangerous because “revealing the truth about historical atrocities tears apart America’s mythology and delegitimizes much of the American power structure.” America's actual history teaches that, “In order to give blacks the same positive social outcomes as whites, blacks must be educated differently than whites.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey.


    African American Collusion with Religious Right

    An elite white, male lynch mob has targeted Planned Parenthood to strike at the heart of reproductive justice,” says Sikivu Hutchinson, editor of and a frequent contributor to Black Agenda Report. “This is part of the far-right, religious agenda to implement patriarchal rule.” These “fascistic” forces have enlisted Black helpers. “We have people like Alveda King, a niece of Martin Luther King, proclaiming that ending abortion is a civil rights initiative,” says Hutchinson, a disturbing sign of “collusion between African American forces and the religious right.”

    Wisconsin Governor Poses Threat to a Century of Progress

    It’s not just teachers and other public employees that are targeted by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s Agenda, says Ben Manski, of Wisconsin Wave and the Liberty Tree Foundation. “Working people across the board, as well as the unemployed and the poor, are really hit by this agenda,” which threatens “everything the people of Wisconsin have created over the last 100 years.” Students, especially, do not favor intervention by President Obama, who has cut Pell Grants and frozen federal workers’ wages. “These people are saying to Obama, please stay out,” says Manski.

    Public Unions Helped Build Black Middle Class

    The origins of public sector unions coincide with the civil rights movement,” says Nelson Lichtenstein, of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “The most famous strike in American history is the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike,” in support of which Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Public employment, says Lichtenstein, has been “one of the main vehicles for making” Blacks and Latinos “part of the middle class.”

    Dr. James Turner, founding director of the African Studies and Research Center at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, recounts the origins of Black Studies as a student initiative of the late 1960s.

    Dr. Jared Ball, Black Agenda Report editor and columnist, explores the concept of African Americans as an internal colony of the United States.

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    Black Studies and the Canary in Our National Mine

    by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

    Cornell University’s acclaimed Africana Studies and Research Center has been stripped of its autonomy, a bad omen for survival of independent Black studies at institutions across the nation. Black Studies was born of the Black Freedom Movement, which is no longer capable of defending its constituent parts. The move at Cornell “is meant to finish off one of the few remaining vestiges of an insurgent struggle that forced Black Studies into the nation’s institutions of higher learning.”

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    Black Studies: Still Indispensable After 40 Years

    black studiesA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    Like all things consciously Black in the age of “race neutrality,” Black Studies has been targeted for the irrelevancy file. “The truth is, Black Studies has always been in conflict with the powers-that-be, on campus and in the wider world.” Born of activism 40 years ago, Black Studies “leads to greater and more effective activism” - which makes the discipline dangerous to power and privilege.
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